Judy Murray has slammed the closure of tennis courts which have been ‘left to decay’ in Glasgow.
Tennis coach and mother of world-class players, Jamie and Andy, said she was ‘sad’ to see the state of facilities in Victoria Park which have been closed by operator Glasgow Life.
The Victoria Park campus in Whiteinch, which includes bowling, rugby and tennis, has been included in the list of venues not yet scheduled to reopen in May 2021.
The operator said an “interest has been expressed in exploring new operating models” for the facility through the People Make Glasgow Communities programme.
However, nearly a year later, it still remains closed to the public, with Judy describing it as a ‘burnt lodge’ with no ‘nets or lines’.
Taking to social media, she added: “Sad to see the wonderful public facility left abandoned. Bring the ‘parkies’ back.
She also mentioned how important public courts are in attracting people who don’t want to join a club and in “opening up the game to new audiences”.
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She added: “The pandemic created an increase in demand for tennis and golf as they were the only sports available.”
The Victoria Park Pavilion was significantly damaged by fire in May 2021, with an assessment deeming the building unsafe and slated for demolition.
A community takeover bid is currently underway by the Victoria Park Community Trust (VPCT) who have developed an ambitious plan to bring the land back to life with an adventure play park, biodiversity garden and community orchard making all part of the proposed projects.
Although the tennis courts are not part of the current plans, the group says that none of the projects have been finalized and that further investigations will be undertaken with the community to create a collaborative plan on the best way forward. for Victoria Park.
The Victoria Park Community Trust’s vision is “to provide high quality, accessible, freely available facilities that meet the recreational, leisure, health, educational and environmental needs of the community”.
They say Victoria Park would be managed by a ‘collaborative partnership’ with the aim of ‘protecting the park’s historic and landscape significance, wildlife and biodiversity for the benefit of its local communities and visitors in an inclusive manner. , imaginative and respectful of the environment”.
A Glasgow Life spokesperson said: “Glasgow offers one of the best municipal tennis arrangements in Scotland. Glasgow Life operates busy and popular outdoor courts in Drumchapel, Kelvingrove, Victoria Park, Knightswood and Queens Park, and continuously invests in courts in Garrowhill. Our indoor offering comes in the form of two major tennis centers at Glasgow Club Gorbals and the Scotstoun Leisure Center which has twice hosted the successful Murray Trophy – Glasgow event in partnership with Jamie Murray and the LTA.
“We offer citywide tennis participation programs that encourage players of all ages to hone and develop their skills, and work with partners, clubs and governing bodies to focus on increasing participation. among the demographic groups that we know have the least access to sport. Over the past eight years, almost £2.5 million has been invested in Glasgow’s tennis facilities, with further significant investments to come over the next year.
“As a result of the pandemic and the resulting financial impact, Glasgow Life faces the same extremely difficult choices as many other organisations. We are unable to offer the same supply of venues and manage the services, events and experiences that we are proud to offer Glasgow residents and visitors to the city. Additionally, in the case of Victoria Park, the fire damage to the pavilion in May last year was devastating and the safest option was to demolish the facility.
“We know this is disappointing for the tennis community, but unless more funding becomes available, we are unable to open any other facilities beyond those that have already reopened. In the meantime, we continue to work with Glasgow City Council through its People Make Glasgow Communities initiative to engage and support community groups and organizations that have expressed an interest in playing a greater role or taking responsibility for places. currently run by Glasgow Life. If more funding becomes available, we will discuss any future reopening plans with the council, local communities and our stakeholders. »